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tobacco, thanks it in prosperity, and upbraids it in disaster. * If his medicine fails to bring him the desired success, he will sometimes discard it and adopt another. The superstition now becomes mere fetich-worship, since the Indian regards the mysterious object which he carries about him rather as an embodiment than as a representative of a supernatural power.

Indian belief, however, recognizes a very different class of beings. Besides the giants and monsters of legendary lore, other conceptions may be discerned, more or less distinct, and of a character partially mythical. Of these, the most conspicuous is that remarkable personage of Algonquin tradition, called Manabozho, Messou, Michabou, Nanabush, or the Great Hare. As each species of animal has its archetype or king, so, among the Algonquins, Manabozho is king of all these animal kings. Tradition is diverse as to his origin. According to the most current belief, his father was the West Wind and his mother a great-granddaughter of the Moon. His character is worthy of such a parentage. Sometimes he is a wolf, a bird, or a gigantic hare, surrounded by a court of quadrupeds; sometimes he appears in human shape, majestic in stature and wondrous in endowment, a mighty magician, a destroyer of serpents and evil manitous; sometimes he is a vain and treacherous imp, full of childish whims and petty trickery, the butt and victim of men, beasts, and spirits. His powers of transformation are without limit; his curiosity and malice are insatiable; and of the numberless legends of which he is the hero, the greater part are as trivial as they are incoherent.f It does not appear that Manabozlio was ever an object of worship; yet, despite his absurdity, tradition declares him to be chief among the manitous, in short, the “Great Spirit.” [ It was he who restored the world, sub

* The writer has seen a Dahcotah warrior open his medicine-bag, talk with an air of affectionate respect to the bone, feather, or horn within, and blow tobacco-smoke apon it as an offering. “Medicines " are acquired not only by fasting, but by casual dreams and otherwise. They are sometimes even bought and sold.

† Mr. Schoolcraft has collected many of these tales. See his Algic Researches, Vol. I. Compare the stories of Messou, given by Le Jeune (Relations, 1633, 1634), and the account of Nanabush, by Edwin James, in his notes to Tanner's Narrative of Captivity and Adventures during a Thirty Years' Residence among the Indians ; also the account of the Great Hare, in the Mémoire of Nicolas Perrot, Chaps. I., II.

| “Presque toutes les Nations Algonquines ont donné le nom de Grand Liérre au Premier Esprit, quelques-uns l'appellent Michabou (Manabozho).” — Charlevoix, Journal Historique, 344.

merged by a deluge. He was hunting in company with a certain wolf, who was his brother, or, by other accounts, his grandson, when this his quadruped relative fell through the ice of a frozen lake, and was at once devoured by certain serpents lurking in the depths of the waters. Manabozho, intent on revenge, transformed himself into the stump of a tree, and by this artifice surprised and slew the king of the serpents, as he basked with his followers in the noontide sun. The serpents, who were all manitous, caused, in their rage, the waters of the lake to deluge the earth. Manabozho climbed a tree, which, in answer to his entreaties, grew as the flood rose around it, and thus saved him from the vengeance of the evil spirits. Submerged to the neck, he looked abroad on the waste of waters, and at length descried the bird known as the loon, to whom he appealed for aid in the task of restoring the world. The loon dived in search of a little mud, as material of reconstruction, but could not reach the bottom. A muskrat made the same attempt, but soon reappeared floating on his back, and apparently dead. Manabozho, however, on searching his paws, discovered in one of them a particle of the desired mud, and of this, together with the body of the loon, he created the world anew.*

There are various forms of this tradition, in some of which Manabozho appears, not as the restorer, but as the creator of the world, forming mankind from the carcasses of dead beasts, birds, and fishes. † Other stories represent him as marrying a female muskrat, by whom he became the progenitor of the human race. I

* This is a form of the story still current among the remoter Algonquins. Compare the story of Messou in Le Jeune, Relation, 1633, p. 16. It is substantially the


† In the beginning of all things, Manabozho, in the form of the Great Hare, was on a raft, surrounded by animals who acknowledged him as their chief. No land could be seen. Anxious to create the world, the Great Hare persuaded the beaver to dive for mud, but the adventurous diver Roated to the surface senseless. The otter next tried, and failed like his predecessor. The muskrat now offered himself for the desperate task. Hle plunged, and, after remaining a day and night beneath the surface, reappeared floating on his back beside the raft, apparently dead, and with all his paws fast closed. On opening them, the other animals found in one of them a grain of sand, and of this the Great Hare created the world. Perrot, Mémoire, Chap. I.

Le Jeune Relation, 1633, p. 16. The muskrat is always a conspicuous figure in Algonquin cosmogony.

It is said that Messou, or Manabozho, once gave to an Indian the gift of immor

Searching for some higher conception of supernatural existence, we find among a portion of the primitive Algonquins traces of a vague belief in a spirit dimly shadowed forth under the name of Atahocan, to whom it does not appear that any attributes were ascribed or any worship offered, and of whom the Indians professed to know nothing whatever. * There is no evidence that this belief extended beyond certain tribes of the Lower St. Lawrence. Others saw a supreme manitou in the sun. † The Algonquins believed also in a malignant manitou, in whom the early missionaries failed not to recognize the Devil, but who was far less dreaded than his wife. She wore a robe made of the hair of her victims, for she was the cause of death ; and she it is whom, by yelling, drumming, and stamping, they seek to drive away from the sick. Sometimes, at night, she was seen by some terrified squaw in the forest, in shape like a flame of fire; and when the vision was announced to the circle crouched around the lodge-fire, they burned a fragment of meat to appease the female fiend.

The East, the West, the North, and the South were vaguely personified as spirits or manitous. Some of the winds, too, were personal existences. The West Wind, as we have seen, was father of Manabozho. There was a Summer-Maker and a Winter-Maker, and the Indians tried to keep the latter at bay by throwing firebrands into the air.

When we turn from the Algonquin family of tribes to that of the Iroquois, we find another cosmogony and other conceptions of spiritual existence. While the earth was as yet a waste of waters, there was, according to Iroquois and Huron traditions, a heaven with lakes, streams, plains, and forests, inhabited by animals, by spirits, and, as some affirm, by human beings. Here a certain female spirit, named Ataentsic, was once chasing a bear, which, slipping through a hole, fell down to the earth. Ataentsic's dog followed, when she herself, struck with despair, jumped after them. Others declare that she was kicked out of

tality, tied in a bundle, enjoining him never to open it. The Indian's wife, however, impelled by curiosity, one day cut the string; the precious gift flew out, and Indians have ever since been subject to death. Le Jeune, Relation, 1634, p. 13.

Le Jenne, Relation, 1633, p. 16; Relation, 1634, p. 13.
| Biard, Relation, 1611, Chap. IX. This belief was very prevalent.

heaven by the spirit, her husband, for an amour with a man ; while others, again, hold the belief that she fell in the attempt to gather for her husband the medicinal leaves of a certain tree. Be this as it may, the animals swimming in the watery waste below saw her fall, and hastily met in council to determine what should be done. The case was referred to the beaver. The beaver commended it to the judgment of the tortoise, who thereupon called on the other animals to dive, bring up mud, and place it on his back. Thus was formed a floating island, on which Ataentsic fell; and here, being pregnant, she was soon delivered of a daughter, who in turn bore two boys, whose paternity is unexplained. They were called Taouscaron and Jouskeha, and presently fell to blows, Jouskeha killing his brother with the horn of a stag. The back of the tortoise grew into a world full of verdure and life; and Jouskeha, with his grandmother Ataentsic, ruled over its destinies.*

He is the Sun; she is the Moon. He is beneficent; but she is malignant, like the female demon of the Algonquins. They have a bark house, made like those of the Iroquois, at the end of the earth, and they often come to feasts and dances at the Indian villages. Jouskeha raises corn for himself, and makes plentiful harvests for mankind. Sometimes he is seen, thin as a skeleton, with a spike of shrivelled corn in his hand, or greedily gnawing a human limb, and then the Indians know that a grievous famine awaits them. He constantly interposes between mankind and the malice of his wicked grandmother, whom, at times, he soundly cudgels. It was he wlio made lakes and streams; for once the earth was parched and barren, all the water being gathered under the armpit of a colossal frog; but Jouskeha pierced the armpit and let out the water. No prayers were offered to him, his benevolent nature rendering them superfluous.*

* The above is the version of the story given by Brebeuf, Relation des Hurons, 1636, p. 86 (Cramoisy, 1637). No two Indians told it precisely alike, though nearly all of the Hurons and Iroquois agreed as to its essential points. Compare Vanderdonck, Cusick, Sagard, and other writers. According to Vanderdonck, Ataentsic became mother of a deer, a bear, and a wolf, by whom she afterwards bore all the other animals, mankind included. Brebeuf found also among the Hurons a tradition inconsistent with that of Ataentsic, and bearing a trace of Algonquin origin. It declares that, in the beginning, a man, a fox, and a skunk found themselves together on an island, and that the man made the world out of mud brought him by the skunk.

The Delawares, an Algonquin tribe, seem to have borrowed somewhat of the Iroquois cosmogony, since they believed that the earth was formed by the back of a tortoise.

According to some, Jouskeha became the father of the human race, but, in the third generation, a deluge destroyed his posterity, so that it was necessary to transform animals into men. Charlevoix, III. 345.

The early writers call Jouskeha the creator of the world, and speak of him as corresponding with the vague Algonquin deity, Atahocan. Two other forms, however, faintly appear in Iroquois mythology, with equal claims to be regarded as supreme spirits. One is called Areskoui, the other Owayneo. Areskoui's most distinctive feature is that of a deity of war. Beyond this, it does not appear that any definite attribute was assigned to either. Like Jouskeha, both were identified with the sun, and the three may probably be regarded as the same being under different names.

The Iroquois proper, or Five Nations, recognized another superhuman personage, - plainly a deified chief or hero. This was Tarenyowagon, or Hiawatha, said to be a divinely appointed messenger, who made his abode on earth for the political and social instruction of the chosen race, and whose counterpart is to be found in the traditions of the Peruvians, Mexicans, and other primitive nations.

Close examination makes it evident that the primitive Indian's idea of a supreme being was a conception no higher than might have been expected. The moment he began to contemplate this object of his faith, and sought to clothe it with attributes, it became finite, and commonly ridiculous. The creator of the world stood on the level of a barbarous and degraded humanity, while a natural tendency became apparent to look beyond him to other powers sharing his dominion. The Indian belief, if developed, would have developed into a system of polytheism. I

* Compare Brebeuf, as before cited, and Sagard, Voyage des Hurons, p. 228.

† Several forms of the tradition of Hiawatha are preserved in the voluminous “ History, Condition, and Prospects of Indian Tribes,” published by government. There is great uncertainty in the traditions relating to Tarenyowagon. In some of them he appears as the son of Jouskeha, and is apparently identified with Areskoui.

Some of the early writers could discover no trace of belief in a supreme spirit

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